By Vicky Meaby
Last term three Global Citizenship teams put their heads together to come up with an event which focused upon core issues of identity and home. Home is an emotive word, it summons up different feelings for different people. Home can be the place we feel most happy or secure; it can just as easily be a place where we feel vulnerable and unaccepted or somewhere from which we need to flee. Home can be where we are born, or where we chose to be.
Each and every one of us has a unique concept of ‘home’ and the connotations it conjures up for us straddle a spectrum from deep-rooted love to feelings of hatred, fear, and terror. During the course of the evening we were privy to stories from three inspiring speakers; Linda Cruse, Caitlin Nunn and our very own Ustinov student, Irene Pasquinelli.
Linda spoke of her development work with communities all over the world, and the ways in which home has become for her wherever she rests her head at night; Caitlin explored with us the complex entanglement of identity, place, and home through participatory arts based work with young Somali people in Australia; and Irene described the story of her work as a first responder and the ways in which a natural disaster can make you question everything you thought you knew about home.
During the event, we asked those attending to describe what ‘home’ meant for them. Below are just some of the thoughts people had, and they encapsulate completely the complex and diverse relationship we have with the concept:
Wherever one is peaceful, happy and free from suffering.
Where the people you love are.
The place you feel homesick to leave.
Where I can be myself.
Where Wi-Fi connects automatically.
Everywhere you are.
With my family, my kids and my dog.
Still at mum’s house, but not as much as it was before dad died.
A place where I feel connected, content, safe and comfortable.
Different in my heart and my head.
A place I’ve never lived.
A place with which you have a spiritual and emotional connection.
Someplace that should always be in your rear-view mirror.
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